Productivity Issues? Do This. Not For Your Boss, But For Yourself

Here’s the secret to being more productive at work.

Life Hacks
3 min read

Camera: Abhishek Ranjan

Creative Producer and Editor: Puneet Bhatia

Voice Over: Badsha Ray

Producer: Amrita Gandhi

Rohit’s plans for a raise were dashed by his boss who asked him to raise his productivity instead. Stuck between a desk and a hard place, thousands of Indian employees feel that their work is not recognised and that the hours they spend sitting in office are seen as more important than the work that they actually do.

Listicles offer productivity hacks and the best time of day to work.

Some say you reach your peak productivity at 11 am and will have a post-lunch slump at 2 pm. Some suggest wearing trainers to work, others that you brush your teeth during work hours to stay fresh.

While hacks will get you through the day they won’t actually get your work done for you. Deep Work by writer Cal Newport tells you how to train your mind to be the master of its own work and time.

His principles are not very different from the mindfulness that yoga and meditation teachers have always talked about. The idea is that having your mind and body in ‘’one place’’ and moving from one task to the next, rather than doing multiple tasks at once, allows creative thinking to expand.

You know that feeling of being “in the zone” or “in your groove”? That’s working deep.
You know that feeling of being “in the zone” or “in your groove”? That’s working deep.
(Photo: FIT)

Working deep is kind of like being “in the zone” or “in ’your groove’’. We all know when we are in it and everyone who has been there will tell you that it is fleeting.

But did you know that it is possible to flex that groove “muscle’’?

When ‘immersed’ in some work, jumping out of it to answer a mail will mean you can’t get back in to the zone so easily. ‘Cognitive residue’ - a mini hangover so to speak that lingers, makes it difficult to go back into what you were focusing on.

Watch this video in Hindi:

The mind needs a break and the chance to wander, since working with concentration can easily tire it. Only then will it be able to focus again on the exacting task of working deep.

Chill out, but not on your phone.
Chill out, but not on your phone.
(Photo: FIT)

Being lazy is good. The couch is your friend, my friend. But letting our phones sneak into your off time un-trains the mind again from all the effort you made to work deep. This is because it signals to the mind that it doesn’t have the ability to chose what it does.

Switch off from office emails after hours. Even if your office culture is hyper-responsive.

And though many studies show that a person is only ‘productive’ or able to work at their peak for 4 hours a day, lets not hold our breath for HR policy to change to a utopian 6-hour work day wonderland.

Finally, no matter where you are in your schedule, there is no scheduling creative ideas, because bright ideas will always arrive when you least expect them.

*Sound of Flush*

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